Penguins Dustin Jeffrey draws a tripping call on Columbus' Michael Ratchuk in the first period tonight.
By Dave Molinari Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Evgeni Malkin broke a 1-1 tie early in the third period and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 32 of 33 shots as the Penguins defeated Columbus, 3-1, at the Consol Energy Center tonight.
Michael Ratchuk gave the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead at 12:03 of the first period when he backhanded a shot over Fleury from near the right dot.
Fleury appeared to stumble and lose his balance a second or two before Ratchuk shot.
Neither team scored again until 16:48 of the second, when Pascal Dupuis of the Penguins snapped in a shot from inside the left circle to tie the game.
Malkin put his team in front to stay at 2:47 of the third, when he slid the puck between his legs to defenseman Andrew Hutchinson, then steered a return pass from Hutchinson past Columbus goalie Steve Mason.
Arron Asham added an insurance goal by punching in a rebound at 17:17, just seconds after Mason had robbed him from point-blank range, and Malkin gave the capacity crowd of 18,087 a final thrill by landing a series of punches during a brief, one-sided fight with Blue Jackets winger Rick Nash.
The Penguins, 3-0 in exhibition play, will face Chicago Tuesday night at the CEC.